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Shooter opens fire in Virginia Beach courthouse

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One shooter killed at least 11 people at a municipal center in Virginia Beach on Friday, according to police, who said a suspect has been taken into custody and they believe there was only one shooter. (May 31)
AP

A public utilities employee opened fire on fellow workers at a municipal center in Virginia Beach on Friday, killing 11 people and wounding at least six others, according to police.

Virginia Beach police Chief Jim Cervera said the shooter died in an exchange of gunfire wity officers who rushed into the building.

Cervera, who said the unidentified gunman was a longtime employee of public utilities, said he walked into the building shortly after 4 p.m. ET and “immediately began to indiscriminately fire upon all the victims.”

One of the injured was a Virginia Beach Police officer who was saved by his vest.

“This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach,” Mayor Bobby Dwyer said. “The people involved are our friends, coworkers, neighbors and colleagues.

The shooting broke out in Building No., 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, which includes several city facilities, including the police department. Building 2 houses offices for planning and public works and is adjacent to city hall.

Details remained sketchy, but the gunman walked through several floors of the city’s municipal center and randomly fired at employees.

Megan Blanton, 30, told The Virginian-Pilot that she was in the building when a gunman began firing. She said her supervisor pulled her and others into an office and shoved a desk against the door while Blanton called 911.

Cervera praised first responders for their actions. “When this violent act occurred, police and fire-rescue responded and did the professional thing that they do, because that’s what they do,” he said.

Cervera also said that citizens can “rest easy” tonight after the suspect was taken down.

“This day will not define Virginia Beach, our response will define Virginia Beach,” Councilman Aaron Rouse said. “We will come together, we will show the strength of our city.”

Virginia Beach, a popular resort town with a population of 440,000, is located along the Atlantic Coast about 200 miles south of Washington, D.C. It is also home to three military bases.

At least one victim was taken to the Sentara Princess Anne Hospital and another was brought to Virginia Beach General Hospital, Sentara spokesman Dale Gauding told The Virginian-Pilot.

Christina Pullen, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Norfolk, said the bureau is responding to assist Virginia Beach police.

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A police spokesman said the shooter opened fire in Building 2 of the municipal center, which is adjacent to City Hall.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/31/police-shooter-opens-fire-virginia-beach-courthouse/1305277001/



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